The Big Money in Tax Breaks

NPP Pressroom

16 September 2013
For Immediate Release


Mattea Kramer or Jo Comerford, 571.308.6607

Exposing the Big Money in Tax Breaks

National Priorities Project Releases Analysis of Tax Breaks Over Time

Report shows how tax loopholes have changed since 1974

Northampton, MA – National Priorities Project (NPP) has released unprecedented analysis tracking federal tax breaks every year from 1974 to the present. Tax breaks have grown in number and size, meaning the U.S. Treasury has less money to spend on initiatives ranging from early-childhood education to infrastructure repairs to food safety.

NPP’s analysis and accompanying interactive visualization not only track a host of tax breaks over the past 40 years – from capital gains to the home mortgage interest deduction to corporate loopholes – it also examines who benefits the most from the existing tax code.

From the perspective of the government, tax breaks are no different from any other kind of spending,” said Mattea Kramer, Director of Research for NPP. “Yet tax breaks receive little or no oversight by lawmakers once they’re written into the tax code, even as they cost the U.S. government an estimated $1.13 trillion this year – as large as all discretionary spending.”

Some key findings from the report include:

View the interactive visualization at

Read NPP’s report highlighting key analysis from the data at

The entire dataset can be downloaded at